Specializations in Counseling


Specializations in Counseling

What is Counseling?

Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.

Counseling can offer the right individual a rewarding career path in a health profession that is growing. It requires a strong desire to interact with people, exceptional communication skills, and an ability to complete a graduate degree. Choosing to become a professional counselor is a commitment to yourself, to others, and to society as a whole.

But choosing to become a counselor is just one of the choices that prospective students must make. Students will need to consider all of the different specializations in counseling with their varied work environments.

Choosing a Graduate Program

There are many factors to consider when choosing a masters-level counseling program to attend.

  • Addiction Counseling - Addiction Counseling programs prepare graduates to work with persons and families affected by alcohol, drugs, gambling, sexual and other addictive disorders (e.g., food-related). These 60-semester hour programs focus on models of treatment, prevention, recovery, and relapse prevention of addiction, along with the appropriate application of appropriate interventions. Graduates of Addiction Counseling programs may choose to work in private practice or may work in a variety of community agencies offering counseling services for substance abuse.
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs prepare graduates to work with clients across a spectrum of mental and emotional disorders, as well as to promote mental health and wellness. Clients may be seen individually, in couples, families, or group settings. Clinical Mental Health Counselors are knowledgeable in principles and practices of diagnosis, treatment, referral and prevention, and often work in interdisciplinary teams with other health professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, social workers, MDs). Employment opportunities may include private practice, community-based mental health centers, hospitals, and other treatment centers.
  • Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling - Graduates of Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling programs have been prepared to work with individuals, couples and families from a family systems perspective. From this perspective, Marriage, Couple and Family counselors work with clients across of variety of mental and emotional disorders, relationship issues, or communication issues in a variety of work settings including inpatient facilities, community mental health centers, private practice offices, and social service agencies.
  • Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling - Rehabilitation Counseling programs prepare graduates to work with individuals with disabilities to obtain gainful employment, pursue meaningful careers, and live independently. Clinical Rehabilitation Counselors work in a wide variety of rehabilitation settings -- within State Departments of Rehabilitation; in community rehabilitation programs as evaluators, counselors, assistive technology specialists, or placement specialists; and in other community agencies that provide rehabilitation services for persons with disabilities.
  • School Counseling - School Counseling programs prepare graduates to work with students ranging from kindergarten through high school. School counselors are prepare to promote the academic, career, and personal/social development of all K-12 students through understanding how to design and implement comprehensive school guidance and counseling programs that include time for individual counseling, group counseling, classroom guidance, family and teacher consultations, within the school setting. School counselors work in both private and public school systems at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.
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